1. The response to an infusion of 4% (w/v) fructose in water was determined in fifteen women on a daily sodium intake of 100 mEq/day. The results were compared with those obtained during a similar infusion on another day after treatment with deoxycorticosterone (20 mg/day; seven subjects), or spironolactone (200 mg/day; eight subjects), for 1 day before the day of study.
2. Treatment with deoxycorticosterone significantly (P < 0·01) decreased sodium excretion (from a mean value of 391 to 192 μEq/min) and urine flow rate (from 14·3 to 12·4 ml min−1 100 ml−1 of glomerular filtrate) without a change in urinary osmolality or the clearance of inulin. The steroid also increased the fractional reabsorption of sodium at the diluting segment of the nephron, but this increase in reabsorption was not sufficient to compensate for the decrease in delivery of sodium to the site, so that absolute free-water clearance decreased.
3. Treatment with spironolactone significantly (P < 0·01) increased sodium excretion (from 349 to 437 μEq/min) and urine flow rate (from 12·5 to 14·4 ml min−1 100 ml−1 of glomerular filtrate) with essentially no change in urinary osmolality or in inulin clearance. Spironolactone also decreased the fractional reabsorption of sodium at the diluting segment of the nephron, but the degree of inhibition of reabsorption was not sufficient to prevent an increase in free-water clearance as a result of increased delivery of sodium to the site.
4. The findings support the concept that changes in circulating aldosterone can alter the renal excretion of sodium in man by affecting its reabsorption in the proximal tubule as well as in the distal tubule.